Let's solve America's problem, force govt to live within its means.
October 15, 2013
On October 14, Congressman Andy Barr spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlelady from Missouri for her leadership in leading this Special Order.
Many Americans watching on TV right now are frustrated. They are angry with what they are seeing in Washington. They don't understand why political conflict has to get in the way of solutions.
They are saying, and they are saying to all of us, why are the politicians putting their political agendas ahead of what is good for the country?
I share that frustration and anger, and I understand what they are saying. They are saying, why can't the politicians get their act together?
Why can't they reopen the government and avert default?
But you know, as important as it is to reopen the government, and as important as it is to avert a short-term default, and those are very critical, it is equally important that we stop business as usual in Washington.
It is important that Members of Congress do what they were elected to do, which is exercise leadership, stand up for what is right and what is in the long-term best interest of the Nation.
What is in the long-term best interest of the Nation is to stop spending money we don't have. It is to stop racking up mounds of debt to end the reckless practices in Washington that are literally mortgaging the future of our children and our grandchildren and pushing this country to the brink of national bankruptcy.
Now, some have accused House Republicans of holding the country hostage solely for the purpose of repealing or defunding the President's signature legislative achievement, Obamacare.
Why is this relevant?
The President says ObamaCare should not be part of any negotiations to fund the government or raise the debt limit. But my constituents in Kentucky recognize the President's health care law for what it actually is, which is a massive increase in Federal spending.
Its projected cost has more than doubled since the President originally claimed it would reduce the deficit. It will cost American taxpayers $2 trillion over the next decade, and its true cost will continue to grow.
Obamacare was rammed through Congress on a partisan basis through a process that was specifically reserved for budget-related bills, the reconciliation process. So for anyone to suggest that ObamaCare is unrelated to the budget is both cynical and inconsistent with Congress' ongoing responsibility to scrutinize Federal spending.
After racking up $7 trillion in debt in just 5 years, the President stubbornly refuses to negotiate over ObamaCare. But make no mistake: Congress would not be doing its job if it ignored ObamaCare and its massive cost in the ongoing debate about how to save America from bankruptcy.
So, Mr. Speaker, let me just conclude by saying this. It would be unfair for young people and the next generation if we simply raised the debt limit without also addressing the underlying cause of our problems, without also addressing the cause of our fiscal situation, and that is runaway government spending. This is our opportunity. This is our moment. Let's seize this opportunity on a bipartisan basis. It is time for solutions.
I thank the gentlewoman for her leadership in this Special Order.
Let's not just raise the debt limit and keep kicking the can down the road. Let's solve America's problem and finally force the government to live within its means.